Tuesday, March 09, 2021

03/09 Links Pt2: Jews are the forgotten minority in the march towards wokeness; Coronavirus improves Israeli Arab view of the IDF; Stealth Antisemitism at Harvard: Cornell West

From Ian:

Jews are the forgotten minority in the march towards wokeness
The treatment of Jews is useful for illustrating the sheer darkness of the woke hegemony on campus pinpointed in the report. Professor David Miller, a sociologist at the University of Bristol, recently accused the Bristol University Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students of being “directed by the State of Israel”. Prof Miller seemed unable to muster any scholarly subtlety, baldly stating that Zionists and their acolytes “impose their will all over the world” and run a “campaign of censorship” and “political surveillance” in support of a devilish ideology (Zionism) that “has no place in any society”.

Last year he told The Sunday Telegraph “I don’t teach conspiracy theories of any sort”, adding that it is “simply a matter of fact” that “parts of the Zionist movement are involved in funding Islamophobia”.

A few weeks earlier, at Leeds University, barely a ripple was caused when Ray Bush, professor of African studies, was found to have tweeted: “Does it take a Nazi to recognise a Nazi #nazi #israel #racism?” and “#nazi-zionistalliance #zionism #settlercolonialism hold onto power whoever you align with.” Comparing Israelis to Nazis, which these tweets appear to do, is extreme anti-Semitism. It is also apparently considered more than fair play in the pantheon of woke ideas.

Prof Miller was hired after allegedly making a number of anti-Semitic comments and continues to be employed at Bristol. There has been little outrage: indeed, 13 colleagues have signed a letter in support of him. Meanwhile, Prof Bush is still merrily professing away, too. Leeds University has said it is examining his social media posts and had received a complaint from its Jewish Society. Prof Bush has denied accusations of anti-Semitism, adding that his “retweets are mostly taken from commentators within Israel”.

Meanwhile, violent incidents against Jewish students on campuses in Europe, the UK and America are soaring.

Much, then, is wrong, from the most fiddling of cancellations to the highest of moral trespasses. The only way to fix this is to combat noxious ideas with better ideas. As the report concludes, the barriers to ideological change on campus are “massive”. Still, at least we are beginning to have a picture of the extent of the problem and, with it, the rather daunting challenge of reversing it.
A Möbius Strip of Hate
The new radicals — the most vociferous of whom were rich children from big cities — were bound together by three animating forces: antiracism, anti-Semitism and opposition to any debate about the new radicalism, which was reflected in their hostility to free expression. These three threads were not arbitrary. They were woven together, and the one could not be disentangled from the others. They comprised a Möbius strip of hate.

The antiracism, to those who hadn’t succumbed to the newspeak, was racism. A belief in the genetic wrongness of white people. The radicals didn’t put it this way. They Christianized their hate. They turned whiteness into original sin, and they cordoned themselves off from accusations of hate by redefining it — by arguing one could only hate from the top-down: the powerful could be racist; the not-powerful could not be. Black antiracists were simply “calling out” white people’s oppression of them. White antiracists were repenting.

The anti-Semitism was the apotheosis of the antiracism. It cloaked itself, as it must these days, in anti-Zionism, and it was remarkable because, at first blush, it struck one as so off-topic. What did Israel have to do with George Floyd or equity or “white supremacy”? But it wasn’t off-topic. It was the logical outgrowth of a long and inextinguishable hate. In times past, of course, gentiles were free to wage war against Jews. But, with the dawn of the modern, in the 17th century, and with the blossoming of Enlightenment, in the 18th century, that sort of overt Jew-hate became unpalatable — forcing a shift, in the late 19th century, from religion to race. The problem with the Jews was not the God they prayed to or any of their depraved rituals. (Long gone were the days of accusing Hebrews of making matzoh out of the blood of Christian children.) The problem with the Jews was biological, which was a very modern way of looking at things. #IFuckingLoveScience! One’s anti-Semitism, understood racially, or scientifically, was not really anti-Semitism. It was not a chosen hatred. It was the lamentable discovery that these people, these poor, pale, shtetl-ized quasi-humans with their backward, inscrutable traditions, were not fully human. They were of a lesser race, and — sadly — there was nothing that could be done about that. But then — dammit — Zyklon-B, and it was no longer so easy to racialize Jews. How Nazi-ish. For a couple of years, the non-Jewish world (sort of) admired the Jews. When they were wandering and emaciated. But then — what’s this? — Israel, which was founded in 1947 and has morphed into the rationalization for the new anti-Semitism. Today, a good progressive doesn’t hate Jews qua Jews or racial inferiors but colonizers of black people. Exponents of a latter-day apartheid. This Jew is just a reified version of the white-nationalist version of the Jew: Instead of imposing his will clandestinely, in the fashion of the Elders of Zion, he oppresses openly, in an IDF uniform, with his automatic rifle pointed at the head of a Palestinian. He is all-powerful, but instead of his power standing in opposition to whiteness, as the white nationalist understands things, it embodies whiteness. Viewed through the lens of the new radicalism, anti-Semitism is really anti-colonialism, and anti-colonialism is really antiracism in its most distilled form. Which means it cannot be anti-Semitic, and if you say it is, you’re anti-antiracist. Which is the worst thing anyone can be.
Jew-Hatred's Many Strains
While the Catholic Church has come a long way in creating amity with Jews, the same cannot be said about some of the current mainline Protestant churches. Christianity Today (September 1, 2004) carried a story headline: Are Mainline Churches Anti-Semitic? In this story, Diane Knippers, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) answered: “An extreme focus on Israel, while ignoring major human rights violators, seriously distorts the churches’ message on universal human rights. We cannot find a rational explanation for the imbalance. We are forced to ask: Is there an anti-Jewish animus, conscious or unconscious, that drives this drumbeat against the world’s only Jewish State?”

The emphasis on secular “social justice” by some of these mainline churches led to BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) campaigns in the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church, etc. They are driven by former missionaries to the Muslim world who then returned to the denominational headquarters with a pro-Palestinian and an anti-Israel bias that evolved into antisemitism in the guise of anti-Zionism. That is not to say that the people in the pews necessarily support such campaigns.

This latest anti-Semitic strain is anti-Zionism or anti-Israelism, and it is a subterfuge for aiming at Israeli Jews and ultimately at Jews in general. This variant is found in the BDS movement, co-founded by Omar Barghouti (pictured above), who declared that the “BDS aim is to turn Israel into a pariah.” He and the BDS movement, single out Israel among the nations for academic and cultural boycotts. Born in Qatar, Barghouti lived in Egypt, and received his MA degree at Tel Aviv University!… Former Soviet Refusenik, and human rights activist, Nathan Sharansky, adopted the 3D Test in order to distinguish legitimate criticism of Israel from antisemitism. The 3D stands for Delegitimization of Israel, Demonization of Israel, and subjecting Israel to a Double Standard. The BDS movement and some of the mainline Protestant churches meet all of the above criteria.

The collective bias against Jews, at times violent, sometimes verbal, and appearing in multiple forms, has resulted in record high anti-Semitic incidents particularly in Europe, and recently in the US. It is time for decent society to face the fact: silence and inaction is consent.

Coronavirus improves Israeli Arab view of the IDF - officer
The way the Arab society in Israel sees the IDF had changed thanks to efforts of the Home Front Command invested in combating coronavirus, and the assistance it provided Arab local authorities, said the OC of the Galilee and Valley, Col. Nissim Tourgeman, During the pandemic, Tourgeman’s district command was in charge of the area of the Lower Galilee, which spans from the Megiddo junction in the west to the area of Beer She’an in the east. Among the 26 authorities included under his jurisdiction, some 15 were Arab authorities.

The district operates through communications units that work closely with mayors, municipalities’ director-generals, and communities’ security officers.

Their main functions were to supply the communities with COVID-19 tests, help with communicating the Health Ministry restrictions and bring their military knowledge in command and control to the Arab municipalities.

“What might seem natural in non-Arab authorities, things that we learn in the army and practice them in management, were new to some Arab mayors and leaders,” Tourgeman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “We brought what know, and gave them tools that would help them overcome the obstacles that the virus brings with it.”

Tourgeman told the Post that during the past year, he had to closely observe and learn the Arab culture, and via that adjust the service that they are providing in order to break infection chains and lower the infection rate.
Of fully vaccinated Israelis, only 0.2% develop COVID-19 symptoms
Data released by the Health Ministry Monday provided a further indication of the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine in Israel: Out of those who were tested for the coronavirus at least a week after their second shot, less than 1 percent tested positive, and less than 0.2% developed COVID-19 symptoms.

The data shows that out of 3,387,340 vaccinated people who had had more than a week pass after receiving their second vaccine dose, only 4,711 were found to be positive for the virus and of those, only 907 developed symptoms, including fever or respiratory problems.

Israel has almost exclusively been using the two-shot COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. On Sunday the Health Ministry released data showing that less than 3% of all seriously ill COVID-19 patients in Israel have been fully vaccinated.

Of the 6,095 coronavirus patients hospitalized in serious or critical condition since the start of Israel’s vaccination campaign, only 175, or 2.87 percent, had received the second vaccination dose, the figures show.

At the same time, 4,589 patients, or 75% of those in serious or critical condition, had not received a first dose.

Israel vaccinated its five millionth citizen against the coronavirus with a first shot on Monday. Of the five million who have now had their first vaccine dose, 3,789,118 have also had the second, according to Health Ministry figures.

Israel said renewing vaccine diplomacy, to send extra shots to friendly nations
Israel is renewing a plan to supply surplus coronavirus vaccines to a group of friendly nations, the Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday.

The report came two weeks after the effort was halted by legal officials, who said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not have the authority to authorize the moves without consulting with the cabinet.

Israel is now negotiating with 20 countries and Moderna to send up to 100,000 vaccine doses abroad, according to criteria laid out by the attorney general, the report said, noting that there was some urgency to the move as the doses were due to expire by the end of May.

Israel has surplus doses that it purchased from Moderna before signing an agreement with Pfizer for rapid delivery of enough doses to inoculate the entire population in exchange for sharing the medical data with Pfizer.

It was the latest twist in a saga that has raised questions about Netanyahu’s decision-making authority as well as his move to help far-flung nations in Africa and Latin America at a time when the neighboring Palestinian territories are struggling to secure their own vaccine supplies. The plan has also illustrated how at a time of global shortages, the vaccine has become an asset that can be used for diplomatic gain.

Announcing the initial plan, Netanyahu said Israel has hundreds of thousands of surplus vaccine doses and he had personally decided to share a small quantity of them with several friendly countries he did not name, as a mostly symbolic thank you “in return for things we already have received.”
Hungarian, Czech premiers to meet Netanyahu on pandemic strategy
The Hungarian and Czech prime ministers will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to discuss policies to fight COVID-19 as a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps central Europe.

"The main topic of the meeting will be the effort to curb the pandemic," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's press chief said in a statement.

Netanyahu, who has said 90% of eligible Israelis have either received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or recovered from the virus, has made Israel's vaccination program a showcase of his campaign for re-eection on March 23.

Last week Israel, Austria and Denmark said they would set up a joint research and development fund, and possibly production facilities for COVID-19 vaccines, to ensure they had long-term supplies for booster shots or to contend with virus mutations.

Hungary imposed tough new lockdown measures on Monday to curb a rise in COVID-19 infections and has accelerated its vaccination campaign. Orban's government has closed all schools and most shops in his country of 10 million.
COVID-stricken African nation brings in Israelis to prepare its vaccine strategy
A Tel Aviv-based nonprofit has launched the first of several missions to help poor countries build their COVID-19 vaccination program, drawing on Israel’s success.

A seven-member team from IsraAID landed in the small African state of Eswatini on Monday for a two-week visit. The delegation was invited by the government of the country, formerly known as Swaziland, which has vaccines in the pipeline and wanted help with logistics and public education ahead of the rollout.

“Israel’s vaccine success story has already reached here, and people really welcome and appreciate our effort,” Molly Bernstein, a member of the team, told The Times of Israel from Eswatini, expressing confidence that IsraAID will replicate her mission in other countries.

She said that work began minutes after the team landed on Monday afternoon, and has already involved visits to numerous health centers and meetings with health officials.

“We’re seeing exactly what the local health system looks like so we can leverage its capabilities to ensure the best possible vaccine rollout,” Bernstein said.

She added that her team is also providing guidance on other aspects of COVID-19 policy, beyond vaccines.
Coronavirus: Positive serological test gives right to green passport
All children under the age of 16, including babies, cannot leave Israel without the approval of a special governmental committee, Public Health Services head Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis confirmed on Tuesday in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post, as the number of serious patients dropped to 660, the lowest since December.

While since Sunday, all people who are vaccinated or have recovered can travel without permission, all those who aren’t cannot. The committee grants permission only in special cases and for humanitarian reasons.

Alroy-Preis also said that the Health Ministry is working round the clock to set up a system of rapid testing in order to allow those who are not vaccinated or have not recovered from the virus to receive a temporary green passport, in order to allow them to access venues which at the moment are reserved to those who are considered fully immunized, including cultural and sports events.

Earlier in the day, addressing the Knesset Law and Constitution Committee, she expressed hope that the system will be ready within two weeks. The committee approved today the latest round of coronavirus regulations, including guidelines for restaurants, the culture sector and the airport.

The Guardian removes irrelevant picture of Chasidic Jews accompanying article on lockdown restrictions after complaint from CAA
The Guardian has removed a picture of two Chasidic men used to accompany an article about lockdown restrictions unrelated to the Jewish community, following a complaint from Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The original picture associated Jews with a delay in the lifting of lockdown rules, despite the fact that Jews were not mentioned in the article at all.

The article – entitled “Covid lockdown a success but UK ‘not out of the woods’, says ONS [Office of National Statistics] head” – was published online on Saturday and quoted statistician Ian Diamond who praised the UK lockdown restrictions whilst warning that they should not yet be lifted. He made no reference to Jews, nor did the article and no picture caption was provided to explain why the photograph was chosen.

Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Global Readers’ Editor of The Guardian Group on Monday to demand the picture’s removal as well as an apology. The newspaper, as well as its sister newspaper The Observer, have regularly published cartoons by Steve Bell with antisemitic undertones and have promoted conspiracy theories against Jews including that Israel was behind the killing of George Floyd.

Following the complaint from Campaign Against Antisemitism, the picture has been removed, with a non-apology at the foot of the article reading: “This article was amended on 9 March 2021 to replace the picture with a more appropriate image.”
The Conspiracy Libel thread: Below I’ve posted additional audio from a @marclamonthill Clubhouse Q&A.
Below I’ve posted additional audio from a @marclamonthill Clubhouse Q&A.

They discussed Hill’s book and strategies to grow their Anti-Zionist movement.

The meeting included academics, a prominent civil rights attorney, and two Bernie Sanders delegates.

Before sharing that audio, I’m going to provide brief historical context so there’s no confusion about what’s being presented. The video clips posted below were translated by us, and it’s possible these clips have never been translated into English before.

“Antizionism”, as expressed today, was actually a Soviet construction developed as a propaganda weapon during the Cold War, especially after 1967. 1967 is a very important date in this history.

The Soviets recycled antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish power in a propaganda effort against Israel. They constructed the myth that Israel was an international base of racism and imperialism that embodied global reaction, and worked through subversion to thwart progress They depicted Israel as a racist, evil, and international oppressor, that was supported and enabled by 5th columns of Jews in every country, who held dual loyalties and secret allegiance to the state of Israel.

In this Soviet Documentary, Zionism is depicted by Soviet antisemites as a Jewish supremacist and racist movement, which is pursuing a plan for Jewish world domination; this is an “anti-fascist” retelling of Nazi propaganda:

HonestReporting: The Meaning of Sanctions: A Conversation with Peter Beinart
We had an interesting Twitter conversation with New York Times columnist Peter Beinart. In his recent column, Peter objected to US secondary sanctions on Iran, saying it would harm civilians. But he recently wrote an entire book about how the world should put sanctions on Israel.

Why the difference? Do Israeli civilians not also deserve protection? Is Israel, a democracy and a US ally, really a worse country than Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of global terrorism?

Well, Peter said that he feels secondary sanctions can result in denial of humanitarian goods, in a way that regular sanctions do not. But is that really true? We looked into the question: What are secondary sanctions anyway?

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Urges Stevie Wonder to Turn Down Israel’s Wolf Prize
Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters asked legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder on Monday night to reject Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize, which he was awarded last month.

In a video posted on Facebook, a rambling Waters — who has long been criticized by Jewish groups for his anti-Israel activism and support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — urged Wonder to turn down the award. The Wolf Prize was given to the “Superstition” singer for “his tremendous contribution to music and society enriching the lives of entire generations of music lovers.”

“This is an apartheid regime. This is Israel. You will be whitewashing them beyond all belief if you accept the prize,” Waters said to Wonder, before adding, “I’m going to stop rambling. It’s kind of late at night and I’ve had nearly a whole glass of wine, so I’m not making much sense … I have huge respect for you, so hear my plea.”

Waters also claimed in the video that he was among those who successfully pressured Wonder in 2012 to cancel a performance at a fundraiser for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Wonder, 70, is the second Black recipient to receive the Wolf Prize in the music field, following opera singer Jessye Norman. He shares the 2021 award with Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth.
British Actress Speaks Out on Racist Abuse Suffered by Jewish Women: ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’
British Jewish actress Tracy-Ann Oberman wrote about the “sexual, fetishist, personal and brutal” abuse experienced by Jewish women in an article published on Monday, which marked International Women’s Day.

“I have discovered that Jewish women have long held a special place in the heart of Jew haters and misogynists,” Oberman wrote in an article published by The Times. “In recent years I chose to challenge. Sticking my head above the social media parapets to speak out … In attacking me, my allies and Jewish sisters the abuse was sexual, fetishist, personal, brutal, full of smears and lies and with one aim: make us shut up and go away. Which we didn’t.”

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was #ChooseToChallenge, a call to confront gender bias and inequality.

Oberman’s article accompanied a video message from the actress discussing the “distinct link” between misogyny and antisemitism. The clip was published on Monday as part of “We are truthers,” an educational campaign launched by the Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust.

In her Times article, Oberman also noted how the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a rise in antisemitism. “The pandemic has forced us further online, but the abuse hasn’t let up. I have been attacked by mainly men, across far left and far right, calling me a Rothschild whore, a Zio Shill, a hag and unnatural,” she wrote. “But like my foremothers, I won’t go quietly. I am proud to stand against them for myself, for my community and for the next group of women they will target.”

“We continue to challenge, so that our daughters and granddaughters don’t have to face similar abuse,” she continued.
Stealth Antisemitism at Harvard: Cornell West
As evidence of what the late Professor Edward Alexander has called “the explosive power of boredom” in rousing the liberal professoriate to its ideological feet, Harvard’s own Harvard Divinity School professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Cornell West, recently wondered out loud why the university might have denied him tenure.

His explanation: that because he is a relentless critic of Israel, and because he thinks so highly of his academic accomplishments and record, it must be his pro-Palestinian leanings that spooked the Harvard committee making his tenure decision. "This is my hypothesis,” West said, “because given the possibilities of why they would not be even interested in initiating a tenure process, what else it could be?”

Ignoring the possibility, of course, that the reason he was not offered tenure has more to do with his uneven academic reputation and credibility than with his criticism of the Jewish state, West conjured up a familiar trope of Jew-haters: that if you condemn Israel and denounce its policies and behavior, you potentially have to pay a high reputational price. “The problem is that [critiquing Israel] is a taboo issue among certain circles in high places,” West said. “It is hard to have a robust, respectful conversation about the Israeli occupation because you are immediately viewed as an anti-Jewish hater or [having] anti-Jewish prejudices.

Criticism of Zionism and Israel is, of course, an issue about which Professor West and others have many notorious opinions, but which are being threatened, in his view, through the suppression of Palestinian Arab solidarity and an unrelenting cataloging of the many predations of Israel. Professor West’s implication is that on this one issue—criticism of Israel—the sacrosanct notion of “academic freedom” is being threatened by those pro-Israel opponents who wish to stifle any and all speech critical of the Jewish state.

West goes even further, suggesting that Jewish power “among certain circles in high places”—and those who are afraid of it on the Harvard campus—is so pervasive and influential that it shapes tenure decisions and plays a role on who advances academically and who does not.
Canary Mission Statement on Dental Student, Adam Elayan
Canary Mission published dental student Adam Elayan’s profile in December 2016. He came onto our radar after we discovered concerning tweets that displayed classic antisemitism and support for terrorism.

After a lengthy process, his profile was removed this week from the Canary Mission website as part of the Ex-Canary program. The program is designed for individuals who have “shown moral courage to recognize their earlier mistakes, embracing tolerance and coexistence – despite social pressure from their peers.”

We would like to note the important role that StandWithUs played in recognizing that Adam has changed and in giving him a chance. Like us, they were very concerned by Adam’s previous anti-Semitism. However, they kept an open line to him, allowing him to express his regret to them in person.

StandWithUs emailed us suggesting that we look at his case. Having seen a copy of Adam’s op-ed, we had a number of questions.

One question regarded what he meant by anti-Semitism. It is no secret that far-left extremists object to the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. This is despite its adoption by governments, institutions and sporting bodies around the world, including the Biden administration. In the words of the definition, it is anti-Semitic to deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

We asked Adam what he meant by his being against anti-Semitism. He confirmed that he meant the IHRA definition. After receiving his answer and being satisfied by the discussions he held with StandWithUs, it was appropriate to remove him from Canary Mission.
Adam Elayan: Turning my back on my ugly, anti-Semitic teenage tweets
When I was a teenager six to nine years ago, I tweeted horrible anti-Semitic statements. I made generalizations about Jewish people; I promoted stereotypes about Jews; and I blamed Jewish people for bad things in my life.

Since 2017, various groups have been circulating my old tweets, which long ago ceased representing my true thoughts and feelings. One tweet was a photo of a shirt with a picture of Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled, of whom I didn’t have a good understanding.

I have never supported terrorism, but many people saw my past statements and understandably assumed the worst about me. I was advised by university administrators not to respond to the exposure of my posts, so for years, I stayed silent.

I am now publicly turning my back on those statements and sharing my path away from hate and anti-Semitism.

During my childhood, every other summer I went to Jerusalem to visit family. As I grew older and started to realize my family’s difficult circumstances, I started feeling guilty that I was living more comfortably than they. My guilt at my privilege and my anger at their living conditions left me looking for someone to blame. As a teenager, I directed my frustration at the Jewish people, posting comments on Twitter that were ugly and hateful.

My views changed as I matured and learned more about the world, including the complex issues in the Middle East. With education and self-reflection, I learned that I was unjustly blaming and demonizing an entire group of people. Throughout college, my experiences helped me realize how misguided my anger at the Jewish community was.
Building hope, one person at a time
As an educational organization supporting Israel and combating anti-Semitism, StandWithUs has always understood the importance of engaging audiences and individuals with meaningful and accurate information to effect positive change. Stories like that of Adam Elayan—a young man who once embraced anti-Semitism and its stereotypes but has since educated himself, altered his views and spoken out against anti-Semitic bigotry—continue to give us great hope for the continued success of our efforts.

Adam’s story emphasizes the urgency of education and its exceptional ability to make our world better. We hope that this story helps others see what we see: that combating anti-Semitism is not just about pushing away hate, but also bringing in new friends. We commend Adam for his courage, and we are thankful for his friendship.

Adam’s story comes at an uncertain time, as concerns persist within the Jewish community about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the United States. It is easy to fall instinctively into a protective posture and seek distance during such divisive times.

However, Adam’s narrative shows how courage, meaningful engagement, education and personal conversations can help drive out toxic ideas and produce better understanding among people, especially with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We encourage readers to seek inspiration in Adam’s story and to view the challenges it includes as opportunities, rather than roadblocks.

The battle against anti-Semitism is one not against people, but against bad ideas. By providing people with the educational tools that they need to gain an accurate understanding, we allow them to fight—and replace—these bad ideas with good ones. When possible, efforts to combat hate should begin with corrective action, seeking not to punish but to heal—to connect and open new doors.
Utah Becomes Latest US State to Pass Anti-BDS Legislation
Utah has become the latest US state to pass legislation targeting the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The bill sponsored by Utah State Sen. Daniel Hemmert and State Rep. Joel Ferry, known as the Anti-Boycott Israel Amendments, prohibits a government entity from contracting with a person that boycotts the State of Israel.

The legislation was welcomed by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which supported the measure.

“I believe the passage of S.B. 186 is essential to demonstrate Utah’s continued support of Israel’s rights as a nation to engage in free trade without the unwarranted attempts to do damage to its economy. Israel is the US’s best friend in the region and we should stand with her as opportunities allow,” said CUFI Utah State Director Craig McCune, senior pastor at New Creation Church in the city of Sandy.

To date, 32 states have adopted laws, executive orders and/or resolutions designed to discourage boycotts against Israel.
UCLA Student Gov’t Accuses Israel of ‘Ethnic Cleansing’: How to Respond
UCLA’s student government has passed a resolution accusing Israel of committing “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians. The resolution calls for the entire University of California school system to divest from “the war industry” and “sever itself from companies that engage or aid in the oppression of any people.”

It also promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution passed by the UCLA student government in 2014.

UCLA’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, one of the groups that co-sponsored the resolution, celebrated its passage in an Instagram post, calling on the university to divest from “Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine”:

This attempt to delegitimize and isolate Israel is only the latest in a series of galling measures taken by students at prominent American universities. But the fact that a resolution comparing the only democracy in the Middle East to “South African apartheid” could pass at the University of California, Los Angeles — historically, a bastion of traditional liberalism — should act as a clarion call to supporters of the Jewish state to mobilize.

Indeed, the mainstreaming of antisemitism — in this instance, by applying double standards to Israel — is often presented under the guise of “anti-Zionism” and blanketed in terms promoting “social justice.” It nevertheless must be identified and countered.
Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism at Syracuse University
Three years ago this past February, I came across a poster taped on the wall of my freshman dormitory at Syracuse University, which included the flag of Israel with the Star of David crossed out. When I questioned the dormitory staff member who was responsible, he expressed shock that Jews would find it offensive, offering the implausible explanation that it was intended to celebrate Black History Month.

Flash forward to this year, my senior year, when the university’s Student Association just voted to reject a proposal to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. In rejecting the IHRA definition, and eventually voting to indefinitely postpone consideration of the proposal, the students pedaled a lot of hypocrisies.

For example, they called the IHRA political — asserting that the Student Association cannot support a political organization or its political opinions and positions.

This is the same Student Association that, on the same day, advertised that the school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion had invited to campus a divisive, sharply political speaker, Marc Lamont Hill, who is known for proudly spewing antisemitic blood libels, publicly supporting convicted terrorists, and most recently stating that the goal of the Black Lives Matter movement is to “dismantle the Zionist project.”

This is the same Student Association that also passed a resolution to block a conservative speaker, Ben Shapiro, from appearing on campus last year, accusing him of anti-Palestinian bigotry.

The situation becomes more perplexing when we consider the fact that none of the Student Association members who have been voting on these proposals and cementing this double standard are Jewish. These are non-Jews telling Jews what we are allowed to consider antisemitic.
Fury as NUS president set to speak alongside boycott leader for Israel Apartheid Week
The President of the National Union of Students has sparked fury for agreeing to speak alongside controversial Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti as part of Israel Apartheid Week.

Larissa Kennedy is listed as a speaker for an online debate called “United Against Racism: Resisting Israeli Apartheid”, to be held on Thursday.

The decision by the NUS President to share a platform with Mr Barghouti, the founder and leader of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), has been condemned by anti-racist campaigners on campus.

The Palestinian activist has been criticised for his opposition to a two-state solution. Instead, he advocates a single “unitary state”, which critics say is simply code for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish country.

Ms Kennedy’s move was condemned by The Pinsker Centre, the think tank campaigning against antisemitism on campus. A spokesperson said that Israel Apartheid Week caused “offence and alarm” to many of the 8,500 Jewish students at universities across the UK.
UCL President Says School Would Defend Right to Invite a Holocaust Denier, While Ensuring That Jewish Students Were ‘Looked After’
University College London president Dr. Michael Spence said in a radio interview Monday that the school’s “commitment to free speech” would extend to hosting a Holocaust-denying campus speaker, if invited, but that it would make sure Jewish students were “looked after.”

“Are there people that you wouldn’t want speaking at UCL? How absolute of a free speech person can you be — where’s the line you’d have to draw before you can say, ‘You’re not welcome at UCL?'” asked host Stig Abell on a Times Radio interview.

“At UCL, we would have anybody to speak who was invited by an academic or by a student, so long as the speech was lawful and there weren’t going to be public order problems that we couldn’t control or whatever. We’re deeply committed to the notion of free speech,” said Spence, UCL President and Provost.

Abell then queried whether that would hypothetically include a speaker engaged in Holocaust denial, which is not illegal in the United Kingdom. “Is there a point there, where the lawful point is one argument but there’s a layer beneath ‘lawful’ which is still potentially problematic?” he asked.

“I think if a Holocaust denier were to be invited by an academic to speak at the University, then the University would obviously have a responsibility to make sure that its Jewish and other students and staff were looked after; that that event took place in in an environment in which other views were expressed; and all the rest of it,” Spence replied. “But yeah, our commitment to free speech is is deep.”

AFP Ignores Signs Pointing to Hamas Rocket As Cause of Gaza Deaths
Agence France Presse’s coverage of three Gaza fisherman killed Sunday when their boat exploded strikingly omits multiple indications originating from the Palestinian side that a misfired Hamas rocket was responsible for the fatalities (“Explosion kills 3 fishermen from Gaza,” March 7).

AFP reports only that the cause of the explosion which killed the fishermen is unknown, and that Israel denied involvement. The news agency reported:
Three Palestinian fishermen were killed Sunday when their boat exploded off Gaza’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea, the fishermen’s union said, with the cause of the blast unknown.
Israel’s army said it was “not responsible for the incident”.
“According to our information, the cause of the explosion came from the Gaza Strip,” the army said on Twitter. …
[Nizar] Ayyash [of the fishermen’s union] said the deaths were caused by “shells of unknown origin (striking) their boat”.
AFP’s detailed photo captions about the funeral for the fishermen likewise note “shells of unknown origin” and Israel’s denial of responsibility, and omit the critical information that an errant Palestinian rocket is suspected. An example of the captions follows:
Relatives of the three Palestinian fishermen, who were killed when their boat exploded off Gaza’s coast in the Mediterranean Sea, mourn during their funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 7, 2021. “According to our information, the cause of the explosion came from the Gaza Strip,” the army said on Twitter. Nizar Ayyash, head of Gaza’s fishermen union, confirmed the deaths 15 nautical miles (28 kilometres) off the coast of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Ayyash said the deaths were caused by “shells of unknown origin (striking) their boat”. Israel’s army said it was “not responsible for the incident”. SAID KHATIB / AFP In contrast to AFP, the Associated Press article makes clear that a Palestinian rocket was the likely culprit, explicitly stating in the headline: “Explosion kills 3 Gaza fishermen, Hamas rocket suspected.” AP reports:
Guardian makes unsourced claim that Israel urged US to attack Syria
A Guardian piece by their veteran journalist Simon Tisdall (“Ten grim lessons the world has learned from a decade of war in Syria”, March 7) included the following claim:
Israel worries about the build-up of Iranian Revolutionary Guard and pro-Tehran armed forces in Syria and Lebanon. It has launched hundreds of air strikes on Iran-linked targets there, and has urged the US to do likewise in reply to rocket and drone attacks in Iraq, the Gulf and Yemen.

Israel urged President Biden to launch attacks on Iranian forces in Syria and Lebanon? We’ve never come across this claim before in any other media outlet.

The link embedded in Tisdall’s sentence goes to a Guardian article reporting on the US attack last month against Iranian-backed fighters in Syria which was widely viewed as retaliation for an Iranian sponsored attack on US-led forces in Iraq days earlier that killed a American contractor. But, the article says nothing about Israel “urging” Biden to launch such attacks.

We contacted Guardian editors and asked that they either provide a credible source for Tisdall’s claim or, if they’re unable to do so, remove the reference to Israel ‘urging’ Washington to attack Iran.
Int'l Council of Jewish Parliamentarians works to counter antisemitism
The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians is being relaunched by the World Jewish Congress to combat “unrelenting waves of global antisemitism and attacks on democratic values,” the WJC said in a press release.

US Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nevada) will lead the forum. WJC president Ronald S. Lauder had asked her to assume the role.

The ICJP was formally established in 2002 by the WJC as a broadening of a series of biannual meetings of Jewish legislators and parliamentarians held in Jerusalem, which started in 1988.

In 2016, the organization transitioned to a more region-specific focus. But the WJC has now decided that the global rise in antisemitism, as well as what it describes as antidemocratic trends in different parts of the world, demonstrated a need for a renewed global perspective. “There is a newfound motivation for international cooperation as antisemitism and antidemocratic movements sadly and very seriously continues to flourish,” said David Meluskey, the WJC’s political-affairs director.

“Parliamentarians are looking to learn from each other and share best practices to find solutions that work within and across borders,” he said.
Heat's Meyers Leonard heard uttering anti-Semitic slur during 'Call of Duty' stream
The Miami Heat acknowledged on Tuesday that they're aware of video showing backup center Meyers Leonard uttering an anti-Semitic slur while streaming a video game session.

The video surfaced Tuesday afternoon, showing Leonard talking while engaged in first-person shooter "Call of Duty." Leonard says the slur while talking with another player.

Warning: The video below contains graphic language and a racial slur.
"F***ing cowards," Leonard says. "Don't f***ing snipe at me you k*** bitch."

Later in the session, Leonard takes a break to take a phone call before abruptly ending his session.
"Yo, my wife needs me," Leonard says. "She just called me. I gotta roll brother."

It's not clear if Leonard quit after he was informed that his slur gained traction on social media.

Heat, NBA aware of Leonard's slur
A team spokesman told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Heat are aware of the video and are reviewing it. The Heat have yet to release a statement. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league is also reviewing the video in a statement.

"We just became aware of the video and are in the process of gathering more information," Bass said, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. "The NBA unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech.”
Uproar in Indianapolis as Local Celebrity Chef Recycles Medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libel in ‘Joke’ on Instagram
The owner of a popular Indianapolis eatery has stunned the local Jewish community with a post on social media that equated being Jewish with knowing the taste of children’s blood — a recycling of the medieval blood libel that falsely accused Jews of using the blood of Christian children to bake matzah during Passover.

Jonathan Brooks — the Jewish owner and chef at the Milktooth restaurant in Indianapolis — said he made the comment on his Instagram account as a sarcastic response to critics who claimed he was “appropriating” Jewish cuisine for Milktooth’s latest menu.

“If I’m not ‘really Jewish’ then how would I be so familiar with the taste of children’s blood?” Brooks wrote last Thursday on Instagram Stories, under his username “thebeastgodforgot.”

Brooks told the IndyStar news outlet over the weekend that the post was a joke intended to highlight the irony of a Jew being told that he was appropriating Jewish food.

“I’m Jewish and my pastry chef is Jewish. That’s the food that we grew up with,” he said. “The joke was that we weren’t Jewish enough to cook our own food.”

Brooks continued: “Yes, it’s an off-color joke. Jokes can be off-color. That doesn’t make them wrong. No-one has to follow me on Instagram.” He insisted that he was “not trying to be offensive. No-one drinks children’s blood. That’s completely a ridiculous thing to say; a cartoonish thing to say.”

Muslim-Owned Restaurant in Germany Once Targeted by Neo-Nazi in Yom Kippur Shooting Rescued From Bankruptcy by Jewish Community Campaign
The Turkish kebab restaurant in the German city of Halle attacked by a neo-Nazi gunman following an attempted massacre at a nearby synagogue where worshipers had gathered for Yom Kippur services on Oct. 9, 2019 has been saved from bankruptcy, thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the Jewish community.

As The Algemeiner reported last September, the German Union of Jewish Students (JSUD) launched the campaign to save Halle’s Kiez-Döner restaurant, which has seen its business ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurant was targeted by Stephan Balliet, a neo-Nazi gunman, during his Yom Kippur shooting spree the previous year. As more than 50 worshipers were inside the Halle synagogue for services marking the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, a heavily-armed Balliet tried repeatedly but failed to smash through the building’s security doors.

He then shot dead Jana Lange, a 40-year-old female passerby, before speeding away in his car to the Kiez-Döner, where he murdered a 20-year-old male customer, Kevin Schwarze, on the assumption that Schwarze was a Muslim. Following a harrowing four-month trial in 2020, Balliet was sentenced to life imprisonment last December.

The student-led campaign raised over $40,000 to boost the ailing restaurant’s finances, far exceeding its original target of $7,000. Additionally, a local Jewish businessman put $1,000 behind the restaurant’s counter to help whip up business by handing out free kebabs.
Israeli author Yaniv Iczkovits’ novel wins UK Wingate Literary Prize
Yaniv Iczkovits’ novel “The Slaughterman’s Daughter” was awarded the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize, British Jewry’s top book award.

Originally published in Hebrew in 2015 and translated into English last year, the novel takes place in a Pale of Settlement village in the late 19th century. Its protagonist, Fanny Keismann, a ritual slaughterer-turned-housewife to a cheesemaker, sets out to track down a missing relative.

“In a post-Holocaust world, reading a book about Jewish shtetl life which is, at the same time, funny, shocking, and entrancing, enables someone who is not Jewish to understand so much of what makes us tick,” Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, England’s top Reform rabbi and a judge on the award’s decision committee, said in a news release Sunday. “‘The Slaughterman’s Daughter’ is like your closest friend that you want to show off to everyone because you want people to see how special they are.”

The prize, which comes with a cash prize of 4,000 pounds, or over $5,500, is awarded annually “to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.” Past winners include Oliver Sacks, Etgar Keret, and Zadie Smith. Last year, author Linda Grant won for her novel “A Stranger City,” about Jews coming of age in London.

Iczkovits, 45, formerly taught in the philosophy department at Tel Aviv University.
Israel Celebrates 100 Years Since Establishment of First Moshav
The Moshavim Movement celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the first moshav—pre-dating the establishment of modern-day Israel by more than a quarter-century—on Monday with the help of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin.

The movement represents 450 cooperative agricultural villages and communities across the country—from Kfar Yuval in the north to Faran in the southern Arava.

“This past year has taught us how important and non-trivial it is to be able to enjoy and celebrate the nature with which the State of Israel is blessed,” said the president.

“For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough, like you, to live in the green, rural areas of Israel, we have understood the importance and advantages they bring us all even more clearly—for leisure and holidays, but for so much more—for maintaining our borders and for established and sustainable Israeli agriculture,” he added.

Rivlin related how his late wife, Nechama, grew up on a moshav, where her mother ran the farm alone with her daughters.
Boy finds 2,500-year-old fertility figurine during family hike
An 11-year-old boy discovered a rare figurine from around 2,500 years ago during a family hike in the south of Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The figurine, depicting a bare-breasted woman wearing a scarf, is an amulet that was believed to protect children or increase fertility.

The authority said that only one similar example, also from the northern Negev Desert, has been previously found and is now housed in the National Treasures collection.

Zvi Ben-David from the southern city of Beersheba was on a family trip to Nahal Habesor a few weeks ago when he found the figurine. His mother, a professional tour guide, realized the significance of the discovery and contacted the IAA.

Oren Shmueli, district archaeologist in the western Negev, and Debbie Ben Ami, curator of the Iron Age and Persian periods in the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a joint statement that the figurine, just a few centimeters high, was made in a mold.

“The figurine that Zvi discovered is rare and only one such example exists in the National Treasures collection. It was probably used in the sixth–fifth centuries BCE, at the end of the Iron Age or in the Persian period (the late First Temple period, or the return to Zion),” they said.
Gulf opens door to public Jewish life amid Israel ties
Half a year after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain established diplomatic relations with Israel, discreet Jewish communities in the Gulf Arab states that once lived in the shadow of the Arab-Israeli conflict are adopting a more public profile.

Kosher food is now available. Jewish holidays are celebrated openly. There is even a fledgling religious court to sort out issues such as marriages and divorces.

“Slowly, slowly, it’s improving,” said Ebrahim Nonoo, leader of Bahrain’s Jewish community, which recently hosted an online celebration of the Purim holiday for Jews in the Gulf Arab region.

Nonoo is among the founders of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities, a new umbrella group for the tiny Jewish populations in the six Arab monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Their goal is to win greater acceptance of Jewish life in the region.

“It’s just going to take a bit of time to seep through before we see a Jewish restaurant or a kosher restaurant spring up from somewhere,” said Nonoo, a former member of Bahrain’s parliament.

Even a modest online gathering like the Purim celebration would have been unthinkable a few years ago, when relations with Israel were taboo and Jews kept their identities out of public view for fear of offending their Muslim hosts.

That changed with last year’s accords between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain that brought thousands of Israeli tourists and business people to the region and led to a fledgling industry of Jewish weddings and other celebrations aimed at Israeli visitors. Emirati and Bahraini authorities have launched a public relations blitz to cultivate their image as Muslim havens of inclusion and tolerance for Jews, in stark contrast to regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“A door has been opened,” said Elie Abadie, the new senior rabbi of the Jewish Council of the Emirates. “I think there is more openness and more welcome and enthusiasm for the presence of a Jewish community or Jewish individuals or Jewish tradition and culture.”